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Lac Caninum

PREPARATION.--The fresh milk from a bitch is triturated in the usual


(The late Dr. Sam. Swan had a proving of this remedy, dog

milk, in the Materia Medica he attempted to publish, but

of which only one volume appeared. The work is now very

rare. The following clinical cases were contributed by

Dr. Philip Rice to the Medical Century, Vol. IX, No.

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Lac caninum is a remedy of undoubted value, though not very thoroughly

understood and consequently not very extensively used in this dread

disease. And since a proving has never been made, and since we have to

depend entirely upon clinical reports I feel it my duty to report a few

cases in which a clear demonstration of the value of this remedy was


CASE I.--Bruce McG., aet. 15, dark hair, gray eyes, spare habit, rigid

fibre, nervous, quick, active, called at my office in the evening

complaining of sore throat, worse on right side, and on swallowing.

Headache dull and heavy, slight fever. Inspection revealed tonsils and

fauces congested and angry looking. On right tonsil a patch of membrane

the size of a split pea was seen.

Lycopodium 30x was given. The next morning the entire trouble seemed

to have gone to the left side; with it had come, also, stiff neck and

tongue; profuse flow of saliva; temperature 101 F. Membrane somewhat

larger. Mercurius ruber 30x was given. In the evening the trouble was

worse again on right side, the membrane now entirely covering both

tonsils, temperature 102 F. Limbs ached, back ached, and patient was

restless. Remembering the symptom, "membrane alternates between right

and left sides," and this having been so characteristic, I gave Lac

caninum in the 30th potency. Improvement began immediately and at the

end of the third day the membrane was entirely gone and case discharged

as far as medicine was concerned.

CASE II.--Louisa McG., aet. 13, in temperament exactly like her brother,

the preceding case. Was irritable and listless for two days, but owing

to the fact that the fair began in a few days, to which she was

determined to go, she did not complain. The third day, however, her

mother noticed that she was truly sick and, there being a number of

cases of diphtheria in town, looked into her throat. She found both

tonsils covered with a membrane. I was called and as no other symptoms

could be elicited I gave Sulphur 30x and told them I would call again

in the evening, which I did and found symptoms rapidly developing.

Aching in all the limbs; headache; pain in the throat on swallowing;

worse on the right side; neck and tongue stiff; membrane just the same.

Temperature 101.5; same remedy continued.

Next morning the membrane was the same, pain now in left side, throat

internally and externally oedematous, fauces and uvula glossy or

varnished in appearance. Temperature 102, urine scanty, no thirst.

Apis 30x was now given. In the evening pain back in right side again.

Temperature 102.5. Membrane spreading; stiffness of neck and tongue more

marked and saliva profuse. Not having seen the case till the membrane

had quite generally formed, but the patient being in temperament like

her brother and the pain shifting from side to side, as in his case, I

decided to give her Lac caninum. Improvement began immediately and at

the end of four days the membrane was entirely gone.

CASE III.--The servant girl in the family where cases one and two had

been, Anna B., aet. 17. In temperament the very opposite to the other

cases, being fat, fair and flabby. Complained of pain in right side of

throat on swallowing, neck stiff, tonsil slightly congested. Felt as if

she had a bad cold. Advised her to come to the office and get some

medicine. She had, however, some "dope" on hand and said she guessed

she would take that first. Next evening I was called and found her with

throat much worse. Membrane covering left tonsil entirely, also a narrow

strip of membrane on posterior wall of pharynx, pain in left tonsil on

swallowing, neck and tongue stiff, saliva quite profuse. Temperature

only slightly above normal. Lac caninum 30x was given. Patient never

went to bed and at the end of the second day no trace of membrane could

be seen.

Now, the symptoms common to all three cases and the only ones

characteristic in each case were, first, both pain and membrane shifting

from side to side; second, stiffness of neck and tongue; third, profuse

saliva; fourth, aching in limbs marked; fifth, entire absence of

prostration; sixth, character of pain was "as if throat was burned raw."

Now, the question will arise in the bacteria man's mind, was this real

diphtheria; were the German's bacteria present? I will answer candidly,

I don't know; I never looked for them.